Welcome to M103

photo (2)Welcome to All Kinds of Minds, a blog that serves the Advisory and Academic Support classes in AES M103. Ms Khanna and I are planning to have a great year, and you, students and parents, are the most important part of our plans. We are so glad you are here where we celebrate diversity in learning styles, language and culture; we agree with  Temple Grandin when she says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” We will be working this year to use the strength of our many minds to do some exciting thinking.

I am very pleased to be working with Ms. Khanna this year. She received a B.A. in Commerce from Delhi University and has three years experience at AES in the elementary and middle schools. Ms Khanna  will be a teacher and a student this year–she is enrolled in a teacher training program in IGNOU, Delhi.

I’ve been teaching for 16 years; I’ve spent half of my career as a general education classroom teacher and half as a special educator.  I am so happy to be back at AES, where I taught fifth grade for six years from 2005-20011. (If you were in my fifth grade classes of years past, do stop by and say hello in person sometime!)  AES is a unique school, and one of my favorite places to teach and learn.

My three children will be studying at AES this year–I have a son in tenth grade, another son in eighth grade and a daughter in sixth. You will probably see them around the school. Portland is the American city I’m proud to call home. I was born in Iowa, and I still return to the Midwest to visit family from time to time.

Reading and writing is important in my family. My partner is a writer; her second book came out last December. I also like to read and write. In my spare time, I enjoy non-fiction and poetry. This summer I read several books, including 1493 by Charles Mann and Over the Hills by David Lamb. 1493 gives an interesting and new perspective on globalization, which has been going on for a lot longer than I’d realized. Over the Hills is part memoir and part history of cycling in the US.  I’m interested in how people get from place to place and I love to cycle, so I really enjoyed this book. Speaking of travel, I’m currently re-reading Arun Kolatkar’s classic collection of poems, Jejuriwhich is about a journey of sorts. I love the first poem in the book. It is called, “The Bus” and you can read it here. I sometimes like to write poems myself. Here’s one that was published in Mint Lounge a few years back; it tells some of the things I love about New Delhi. This summer, however, I didn’t do much writing except weekly emails to my mother, who insists I stay in touch.

Students, I’d love to hear what kinds of reading or writing you did this summer. Why not leave a comment below? Parents, you are welcome to comment as well, and I hope to meet you all at Back to School Night on August 22nd. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas to share, do get in touch. The contact page will show you how.